NATCHITOCHES, LA - Fighting for fairness and the rule of law,
Attorney General Jeff Landry today filed a lawsuit against the Red River
Waterway Commission and its two unlawful office holders.
"Today's legal action was done to ensure proper representation on the Red River Waterway Commission as dictated by law," said General Landry. "The law commands every region has a voice on this Commission; so my office and I are fighting for fairness to Northwest Louisiana."
The lawsuit, filed in Natchitoches Parish, details how Governor John Bel Edwards upset the Commission's balance when he unlawfully filled the vacancy created by the death of Mickey Prestridge. Despite the unanimous nomination of Carolyn Prator by the applicable nominating entities for the Caddo Parish vacancy – the Governor appointed Michael DeVille, a resident of Rapides Parish, as a member-at-large of the Commission; even though there was no at-large vacancy to which DeVille could be appointed.
General Landry brings this action in the name of the State of Louisiana as authorized and mandated by La. R.S. 42:76. Also named as an interested party is Prator, a long-time officer of the Caddo Levee Board who oversaw flood control during two floods of the Red River and the sole nominee submitted by the three nominating entities for the aforementioned vacancy. La. R.S. 42:79 requires that, when the suit is brought by the Attorney General under La. R.S. 42:76, the name of the person (Prator) shall be joined with the State as a plaintiff.
"While many have made this issue political, I remain consistent that this is solely about fairness and the rule of law," concluded General Landry. "Northwest Louisiana must be treated fairly and the law must be followed."
Among other remedies, the lawsuit requests orders from the court prohibiting the Red River Waterway Commission from recognizing DeVille as a member of the Commission and from recognizing and treating Ronald Lattier as the Caddo Parish member of the Commission.
Additionally, the lawsuit requests the court direct the Red River Waterway Commission to take all actions necessary and advisable to secure Prator's appointment to the Commission as the Caddo Parish member.